A medal for Dean

There will be some great Tar Heel news out of Washington, D.C. today—November 20th, 2013.  Morton collection volunteer and blog contributor Jack Hilliard takes a look at an honor for one of the greatest Tar Heels ever.

Dean SmithCan you name two things each of the following has in common?

  • Bob Hope
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Lowell Thomas
  • David Brinkley
  • Andy Griffith
  • Adm. Arleigh Burke
  • John Glenn
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Duke Ellington
  • Richard Petty
  • Dr. Billy Graham
  • Presidents John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan

Each one of these distinguished individuals has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and each one has been photographed by world-class photographer Hugh Morton.  We can now add one more name to that list: UNC‘s legendary basketball coach Dean Edwards Smith.  Sixteen distinguished individuals, including the man who was Carolina basketball from 1961 until his retirement following the 1997 season, will receive the medal today at a White House ceremony from President Barack Obama.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, is presented to those who have “made especially meritorious contributions to security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”  President Obama announced the latest list of recipients on August 8, 2013.

Others to receive the medal this year are President Bill Clinton, Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, senators Daniel Inouye and Richard Lugar, astronaut Sally Ride, and entertainers Loretta Lynn and Oprah Winfrey.  Additionally Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist and author; Mario Molina, Nobel Prize-winning environmental scientist; Arturo Sandoval, Cuban jazz musician; Gloria Steinem, women’s rights activist; Cordy Tindell Vivian, civil rights activist; Judge Patricia Wald, the first woman to serve on the federal appeals court in Washington; and Bayard Rustin, gay civil rights activist.

During his 36 years leading the Tar Heels, coach Smith chalked up 879 wins, 11 final four appearances, 13 ACC championships and two national titles . . . along with an Olympic gold medal in 1976.  Along the way he has been awarded membership in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

In making the announcement, President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their lives to enriching ours.  This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world.”

In addition to his basketball resume, Coach Smith was a champion for civil rights, human rights, and academic achievement. The graduation rate for his players is 96 percent.

As a loyal Tar Heel since birth, I was especially pleased to see a positive Carolina athletic story on the evening news and the reaction in Chapel Hill has been likewise, extremely positive.

“I’m so proud of Coach Smith, happy for his family and friends and appreciative to President Obama for this just recognition,” said current UNC Head Basketball Coach Roy Williams who played and coached under Smith’s leadership.

Tar Heel Head Football Coach Larry Fedora said the honor is great news for UNC.  “I can’t imagine how he feels,” Fedora said.  “What a tremendous thing for our university.”

ACC Commissioner John Swofford, a former athletics director at UNC, called Smith, “one of the most successful, honorable and remarkable men I’ve had the privilege of knowing . . . his reach stretches far beyond the sport of basketball.”

Duke University Head Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski said that Smith receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom speaks loudly about Smith as a coach and the game of basketball.  “He used the platform he attained as a coach to have an influence on other areas of our society.  That’s what we should all do,” said Krzyzewski.

There has also been praise for Coach Smith from some of North Carolina’s political leadership in Congress.  “As one of the greatest coaches of the 20th century, Dean Smith revolutionized the game of basketball and brought enormous pride to North Carolina during his 36 years leading the Tar Heels,” said U.S. Senator Kay Hagan. “But while he brought us glorious moments on the court, Dean Smith will forever be known for the sense of equality and justice that he instilled in his players and fought so hard to advance in basketball, in collegiate athletics and in the country as a whole.”  Said Representative David Price: “Dean Smith is known to all North Carolinians for his tremendous success as the coach of the Carolina men’s basketball team, but the Presidential Medal of Freedom recognizes that he has been far more than a coach to his players, his community, and his country.  Throughout his life, Coach Smith has shown courage and determination on some of the most pressing issues of our time, from working to end segregation in college athletics early in his career, to advocating for inclusion in church and community, to supporting equal rights for gay Americans.”

President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton, along with first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy by laying a wreath near his grave site in Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, November 20th.  In the evening on Wednesday, the President and First Lady will host a White House dinner honoring this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. These annual awards were initiated by President Kennedy in 1963.

Coach Smith will not be able to attend the presentation ceremony at the White House.  He is struggling with a progressive neurocognitive disorder that affects his memory.  He will be represented by his wife Dr. Linnea Smith, his children, long-time coaching assistant Bill Guthridge, and current UNC Head Basketball Coach Roy Williams.

“We know he would be humbled to be in the company of President Clinton, United States senators, scientists, entertainers, the great Hall of Famer Ernie Banks and the other distinguished Americans who are receiving the award,” Smith’s family said. “We also know he would take this as an opportunity to recognize all the young men who played for him and the assistant coaches who worked with him as well as the University. Again, this medal is a tremendous honor.”

The award ceremony is the kind of event that photographer Hugh Morton would have attended and I choose to believe on November 20th, he will be looking down and smiling.

Legends of the Popular Poplar of McCorkle Place

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution chapter in Chapel Hill bears the name Davie Popular Chapter, taking its name from a living legacy on the UNC campus that stands more than 100 feet tall, is more than 16 feet in circumference, and is greater than 5 feet in diameter.

The University will celebrate its 220th birthday on October 12, 2013.  Morton volunteer/contributor Jack Hilliard takes a look at a campus landmark and Morton photography subject that is more than three centuries old.

Davie Poplar with fall foilage, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, circa 1970s.

Davie Poplar with fall foilage, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, circa 1970s.

The Davie Poplar Tree…a monarch, grander than its fellows, sending its branches far and wide, and drawing its life from every North Carolina County.

From The UNC Class Poem of 1893

The Funk & Wagnalls New College Standard Dictionary defines the word “legend” as “a narrative based partly on history but chiefly on popular tradition.”

Legend has it that a select committee headed by Revolutionary War general and legislator William Richardson Davie was appointed to settle on a specific site for the state university.  Davie, who was one of five North Carolina delegates to the 1787 constitutional convention in Philadelphia, had introduced the bill to charter the university in the state legislature in 1789.  On a warm summer day in 1792, exhausted after a long day of searching, Davie and his committee sat down to rest on the grassy lawn beneath a giant tulip poplar standing near the crest of the ridge popularly known as New Hope Chapel.  The search committee, as Archibald Henderson relates in his 1949 book The Campus of the First State University, “regaled themselves with exhilarating beverages,” and after a picnic lunch and a refreshing nap, the group “unanimously decided that it was useless to search further . . . no more beautiful or suitable spot could be found.”

The legend continues.  Almost a century later, Cornelia Phillips Spencer, who was instrumental in reopening the University following reconstruction, named the giant tree Davie Poplar.  (The 1925 edition of the UNC yearbook Yackety Yack describes the Davie Popular as “Nature’s Pisa-like commemoration of William R. Davie.”)  Longtime UNC history professor Hugh T. Lefler, however, always told his students that Fred Hargett headed the search committee—not William Davie—and Lefler stressed the point that the famous tree is a tulip poplar.  Therefore, according to Professor Lefler, the famous tree should be called “The Hargett Tulip.”

The “true” history of the site selection is likely based more on economic logic and has a rotating cast of players depending on who you ask.

The Board of Trustees, meeting in Hillsborough on August 1st, 1792, decided, from a list of seven possibilities, that the university should be located at Cyprus Bridge and New Hope because of its central location.  The trustees selected a committee of eight, representing the eight districts of the state, to go to New Hope and determine the exact location for the university.  William Davie was not one of the eight.

The neighbors surrounding New Hope made generous offers of land and money.  But the offer made by James Hogg topped all the others.  He offered 1100 acres of land, 780 dollars, and 150,000 bricks for the first building.  That coupled with the beauty of the area sealed the deal. The eight-man committee made the final selection in late November, 1792 and formally proposed that Chapel Hill be the site for the university on December 3rd.  So, perhaps the famous tree should be named for James Hogg.

Neither “The Hargett Tulip” or “The Hogg Poplar,” however, have the ring that “The Davie Poplar” has.

Davie Poplar, University of North Carolina, circa 1970 to early 1980s

Davie Poplar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, circa 1970 to early 1980s.

A different legend goes something like this: if the Davie Poplar falls, then the university will also fall.  To this end, exceptional measures have been taken over the years to insure the tree remains upright.  In 1873, the tree was struck by lightning and in 1898 a severe windstorm damaged two large branches.  The tree was struck again by lightning in 1918.  These nature-inflicted woulds lead university officials and the class of 1918 to plant a grafting called Davie Jr. on March 16th, 1918.  More damage came in the form of an ice storm in 1966.  In the late 1970s, an irrigation plan was put into effect and likely saved the tree during the drought of 1986.

Davie Poplar, University of North Carolina, 1992.

Davie Poplar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992.

Then on 12 October 1993, as part of the University’s Bicentennial observance, Davie Poplar III was planted nearby from a seed from the original tree.  Also, 100 2-foot saplings from the original tree were distributed to 100 sixth-graders representing North Carolina’s 100 counties.  UNC Head Basketball Coach Dean Smith handed out the twigs from a flat-bed truck.  They were taken back to each county and planted.  In the October, 2013 issue of Carolina Alumni Review, there is a report on some of those planting, complete with a magnificent Hugh Morton image.  There is also a website at baby-davies.unc.edu to follow the project.

On September 6, 1996, Hurricane Fran tore through the Chapel Hill area badly damaging original Davie and once again, University officials struggled to keep the tree (and the university?) from falling.

And then there is a third and more recent legend that says if a couple kisses while sitting on the stone bench beneath the tree, the couple will marry.  I don’t know that we have any proof that legend number two and legend number three are true, but they live on as does the legend that William Richardson Davie rested under a giant tulip poplar in the summer of 1792 and helped create the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To prove it, there stands the 350-year-old popular poplar on the south end of McCorkle Place that has rightfully earned the love and admiration passed down through generations of students and faculty.

So, the next time you walk the bricks under the famous tree, tip your hat to Davie, to Hargett, and to Hogg.

Tatum’s Tar Heels Sink the Navy

Carolina’s football history with the Naval Academy goes all the way back to 1899, but it was the game in 1957 that Tar Heels often put on their “greatest wins” list.  Morton volunteer/contributor Jack Hilliard takes a brief look at the gridiron history against Navy and highlights that 1957 encounter.

But first . . . an editor’s note about the photographs used in this post.  Something a bit different seems to have happened with Hugh Morton during his coverage of the October 5th, 1957 Navy versus UNC contest.  There are twenty surviving 120 format negatives from the day.  Most of the negatives depict naval cadets in the stands, a few exposures of the team mascots, and a few of the Navy sidelines.  There are no game action photographs and no scenes from the UNC sidelines.  I checked five newspapers and they either did not print photographs or they used staff photographers.  The only Morton photograph was one small head shot of the two UNC scorers that appeared in the Charlotte News–and that negative did not turn up in the scores of unidentified negatives (at least not yet!).  UNC’s Alumni Review game summary used photographs from Durham’s Herald Sun and the Greensboro Daily News.

P081_6_2_1_3_5_02_07 P081_6_2_1_3_5_02_08

. . . we know Uncle Jim (Tatum) and he always comes up with something.

—Marty Zad, sportswriter who covered Navy for The Washington Post in a pregame interview, October 5, 1957

Ten seasons had passed since UNC’s great win over Navy in Baltimore on October 19, 1946 with Charlie Justice and Walt Pupa leading the way that day before 35,000 fans. The ’46 meeting gave Carolina its first win over the Middies in the classic series.  Not only did Carolina lose in 1899, but they lost in 1905 with a team led by Dr. Foy Roberson, Max Gardner and Nat Townsend.  They lost again in 1906.  And not only did they lose those first three games, they were held scoreless.  So that 21 to 14 win in ’46 was a big deal.

But it was a bigger deal, fifty-six years ago, when head coach Eddie Erdelatz brought his Navy team to Chapel Hill for UNC’s Law Alumni Day on October 5, 1957.  The boys from Annapolis were ranked sixth and considered by many sportswriters as “the finest in Navy history.”  Herman Hickman, in his “Hickman’s Hunches” column in Sports Illustrated said “Middies impressive each outing…NAVY.”  Smith Barrier, Sports Editor of the Greensboro Daily News predicted a Navy win touting Navy’s “weight, experience, and versatility.”  With its advertised great depth, Navy would be a 14-point favorite.

So the stage was set for the fifth meeting between the Tar Heels and the Midshipmen.

P081_6_2_1_3_5_01_07

25,000 fans, most of whom were Tar Heels including Hugh Morton, poured into an October-chilly and damp Kenan Stadium, but brightening up the visitor’s side of the field was 143 cadets in Navy blue uniforms and white hats.  Their trip to Chapel Hill was a special reward for their selection as the “outstanding color company” at the Naval Academy in 1956.  They formed the entry way for the team as it came on the field.  Leading the team was Bill XIV the Navy goat.

Coming off a 26-to-0 win versus Clemson, the Tar Heels had not read Hickman or Barrier– or if they had, they ignored the predictions–and took command in the first quarter when Dave Reed went in for the first score of the game from inside the one following a Navy fumble and a nine play drive.  Bob Shupin’s point-after made the score 7 to 0 with 51 seconds remaining in the first quarter.  Navy threatened in the second quarter, but couldn’t score and Carolina’s seven points turned out to be the only first half scoring.

On their first possession of the second half, Navy had the ball at their own 31 when Quarterback Tom Forrestal dropped back to pass. Carolina’s co-captain Buddy Payne broke clear of his blocker causing Forrestal to throw short.  Tar Heel Leo Russavage was in position to make the interception with four blockers out front . . . . leading his way 32 yards for a touchdown.  (Ironically Russavage was pictured on the front cover of the game day program that Saturday afternoon).  Shupin missed the point-after-touchdown and the score was 13 to 0 through the third quarter.

Navy took Carolina’s kickoff following the Russavage touchdown, and moved in for a score.  Forrestal, halfback Ned Oldham, and halfback Harry Hurst lead the way on a 73-yard drive.  With 13:50 left in the game, Carolina led 13 to 7.

Following Navy’s kickoff, Carolina was on the move again.  This time it was Tar Heel Halfback Jim Schuler off right tackle for 61 yards for what looked like a third Carolina touchdown. . . but he stepped out of bounds at the Navy 45 right in front of Coach Tatum and the Tar Heel team.  The drive ended at the Navy 27.

The Middies took over with 7:12 on the clock, needing a TD and PAT for the win. Tar Heels John Haywood and Jim Jones bottled up the Navy attack, and Forrestal threw his fourth interception as Jack Cummings made the pick.  The Tar Heels went three and out and Navy had another chance.  Again Forrestal went to the air, and this time Buddy Payne made a one-handed circus catch at the Carolina 26.  With 1:25 remaining, the Tar Heels knew how to run out the clock and preserve a Tar Heel classic win.

Sports Illustrated reported UNC’s win this way in the October 14th issue: “After enjoying two Saturdays with the rinky-dinks, a smooth-sailing Navy ran into first-class opposition, bowed to North Carolina 13-7.  The huge Tar Heels, forever storming over the Middie line, alarmed Quarterback Tom Forrestal into passing the ball when he should have eaten it.”

Looking at the stat sheet for this game is nothing short of amazing:

  • Carolina did not throw a single pass.
  • Navy threw twenty times, completing eleven with Carolina intercepting five.
  • Navy played its first unit 53 minutes and 58 seconds . . . so much for that Navy depth.

The only other blemish on Navy’s 1957 record would be a 7-7 tie with Duke.  Carolina would go 4 and 3 for the remainder of the season including a win over Duke for the first time since 1949.

Against Navy, Jim Tatum was 4 and 0 (winning three times at Maryland) but he was generous and spoke highly of the Navy team.  Coach Erdelatz was something far less.  After promising to be available to the media fifteen minutes after the game, at the prescribed time, he was on the bus headed out of town.

The first words out of Tatum’s mouth at his press conference: “We got wonderful breaks in this ball game.”  When asked about Carolina’s lack of a passing attack, Tatum said,
“We called the running pass seven times in the game.  Of course, sometimes we didn’t get it started as it should have been.”  He then added, “Two things were important to our victory.  Our mental alertness and the fact that we had two teams ready instead of one. We had read all about Navy’s depth but they didn’t play the second unit much, did they?”

Tatum concluded the conference with a comment about the day’s most spectacular play: Jim Schuler’s 61-yard touchdown run that officially was only a 16-yard first down.
“I saw him step out of bounds but I was glad he kept running.  He gained a lot of confidence from that run and he’s going to make a lot more of them.”

Carolina would not play Navy again until 1984 when the Middies once again came to Chapel Hill–and this time they won 33 to 30.  Tar Heel wins in ’85 and ’87 set the stage for one of Carolina’s toughest losses: the 1989 game in a driving rain in Chapel Hill.  Head Coach Mack Brown describes the ‘89 loss in his 2001 book, One Heartbeat: a Philosophy of Teamwork, Life, and Leadership.

My second year at North Carolina, we lost to Navy 12-7, and it was the first time in three years that they had beaten a Division One team.  After the game, I went out to my car and just sat there and cried because I knew we had better players and had lost a game we shouldn’t have lost.

Overall the series stands at five wins for each team. The most recent meeting was a 28 to 14 Mack Brown Tar Heel win in Chapel Hill in 1992.

“Tar Heel Camera Man: Hugh Morton Remembered” to be viewable live on the Internet

Hugh Morton and hawk on movie camera

Hugh Morton at movie camera with hawk perched on top, most likely during filming of Morton’s 1981 film THE HAWK AND JOHN McNEELY.

As swift as a hawk, tomorrow’s (Saturday, October 5th) panel discussion “Tar Heel Camera Man: Hugh Morton Remembered” featuring Woody Durham, Jack Hilliard, and Betty Ray McCain, is upon us!  The event is open to the public, and will be held at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, in conjunction with the exhibit Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective.

The program begins at 2:00 P.M, and we would absolutely love to see you there (here are the details), but if you are far afield and cannot make the journey, fear not!  Appalachian State will be streaming the event live for viewing on the Internet.  Just click on the previous sentence, and the link will take you to the proper webpage.

Hugh Morton, Tar Heel Camera Man

Wheat, Ashford

Wheat, Ashford, 1949

If you haven’t yet had an opportunity to visit the exhibit Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective at The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University, then Saturday, October 5th at 2:00 p.m would be a date worth considering!

As promised in the previous post announcing the exhibit, we have more information on the panel discussion featuring Woody Durham, Betty Ray McCain, and Jack Hilliard.  The event is titled “Hugh Morton, Tar Heel Camera Man,” and you can see a full description of the event by visiting the link to the UNC University Library’s announcement webpage.

I’ll be leading a gallery tour after the panel discussion.  If you plan to attend, please RSVP via email using the link on the announcement page.  And when you get to the Turchin, please say hello and let me know that you are a reader of A View to Hugh!

Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective

1950s portrait of photographer Hugh Morton with Graflex camera.

1950s portrait of photographer Hugh Morton with Graflex camera.

You may have noticed that it has been very quiet here at A View to Hugh the past couple months.  Well, that’s because there has been way too much happening behind the scenes!  I’ve been deeply immersed in curating the exhibit Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective, and today is its official debut at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.  For those readers who hail from other states, the exhibit is ten miles or so as the raven flies from Grandfather Mountain.  (By car you’ll need to drive about twice as far.)

The exhibit consists of eighty-six photographs, many of which have never been published or were published decades ago, made from high-resolution scans of Morton’s original negatives and printed on a fine art inkjet paper.  Even if you have seen Morton’s photographs in books, magazines, and online, you probably have never seen his photographs like this before.  Here’s a teaser: the exhibit includes a seven-foot-long seamless panorama printed from six negatives made from an outcrop on the west side of Mount Jefferson in 1954!

The Morton exhibit opening is part of the Turchin Center’s larger Fall Celebration, which includes four other exhibits.  Their celebration is, in turn, part of an even larger event, downtown Boone’s “First Friday Art Crawl.”  Attendance at the Turchin this evening could surpass 1,000 people during the four-hour open house.

We at UNC-Chapel Hill will be hosting a special event at the Turchin Center on Saturday, October 5th—a conversation about Hugh Morton and his photography with his friends Woody Durham (“The Voice of the Tar Heels”), Betty McCain, and regular contributor to A View to Hugh Jack Hilliard.  I’ll be offering a gallery talk after the panel discussion, and there will be light afternoon refreshments.  More details will be announced in the near future.

This retrospective has been two years in the making, and it has been an exhausting but extremely rewarding experience.  The exhibit will be on display through January 25th, and during the coming months I’ll be featuring images in the exhibit with more thorough background and description than an exhibit label will permit.  I’ll also talk about the research and design processes, and more.  So please check back often!

But for now, I’m headed to Boone to take it all in!

The Tar Heels versus the Other Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will kick off its 2013 football season tonight, August 29th, in a nationally televised game broadcast from Columbia, South Carolina.  It will be the fifty-sixth time the two teams have met, with a storied past that dates to 1903.  Morton volunteer/contributor Jack Hilliard takes a brief look at the history of this backyard battle. [EDITOR'S NOTE: this post was updated on 30 August 2013 to resolve an unknown technical gremlin that prevented the webpage from rendering properly.]

Al Grygo, University of South Carolina halfback, running during game with University of North Carolina..

Hugh Morton’s photograph from the 27 September 1941 UNC versus USC football game, cropped as published in The Daily Tar Heel with the caption, “AL GRYGO, SOUTH CAROLINA’S sensational half back, rips through the center of the Tar Heel line for a ten-yard gain during the second quarter of yesterday’s contest. Running interference for him is Krinovak, USC guard and coming in for the tackle are Carolina’s Bill Faircloth [#60], and Joe Austin. The photograph also appeared in the 1942 yearbook Yackety Yack. (In the yearbook caption, Grygo only picked up six yards.)  South Carolina defeated UNC 13-7.

When the University of North Carolina takes the field at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina to start its 125th football season on ESPN College Football Thursday Primetime, I can safely predict that Carolina will win. The thing is, which Carolina?  Will it be Larry Fedora’s North Carolina or Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina?  Vegas money is on the team from the south in 2013 by twelve points, but when these two teams meet, anything might happen as evidenced by what has gone before.

The Tar Heels and the Gamecocks first played on October 10, 1903 with the Heels winning 17 to 0 over a South Carolina team coached by C. R. Williams.  During the eleven games that followed, the boys from the North never lost.  (There were, however, two ties—one in 1912 and one in 1921).  The Gamecocks finally won in 1924.  The two Carolinas met twelve times between 1924 and 1944 with USC winning four and UNC winning six.  Again there were two ties, one in 1928 and one in 1937.  Following South Carolina’s 6-to-0 win in 1944, four seasons went by before the two met again.

When Carl Snavely’s Tar Heels flew into Columbia on Friday, October 7, 1949, they were riding atop an eighteen game regular season winning streak and were primed and ready to meet a strong South Carolina eleven.  UNC’s captain, Charlie Justice, was two games into his senior year and was leading the number sixth ranked Tar Heels.  It was like homecoming for Justice: there were six players on the South Carolina squad from his hometown of Asheville, plus Justice and USC’s head coach Rex Enright were good friends.  Enright had recruited Charlie in January of 1946; at one point Justice was planning to join Enright at USC, but that didn’t work out.

The afternoon of Saturday, October 8, 1949 was warm with a few threatening clouds as 28,500 fans poured into Carolina Stadium, (it’s Williams-Brice Stadium today), setting a record, at the time, for the largest crowd ever to see a football game in the state of South Carolina.

In place on the Tar Heel sideline was photographer Hugh Morton.

Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice evades several USC Gamecocks tacklers.

Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice evades several USC Gamecock tacklers during the October 8, 1949 USC versus USC game at Carolina Stadium. A detail from this negative appears in the February 1951 issue of The Alumni Review.

Writing in the game-day program, columnist “Red” Ballentine said, “When you mention the Tar Heels, there is one gentleman who is foremost in football minds—a genuine Southern celebrity who goes under the handle of Charlie Justice—known to all the world as Choo Choo.”

Reporting on the game, the Greensboro Daily News noted that many fans carried portable radios in order to listen to the World Series game between the Yankees and the Dodgers.

South Carolina surprised the shirt-sleeved crowd by holding the heavily-favored Tar Heels to a 7-7 halftime tie, but in the second half it was all Charlie Justice and Art Weiner. Early in the second half, with the ball at the SC 47, Justice hit Weiner on a 24-yard pass. A drive later it was Justice to Weiner again, this time for 40 yards. The Heels rolled to a final score of 28 to 13.

Rex Enright of University of South Carolina and Carl Snavely of the University of North Carolina meet after UNC's 28-13 victory on October 8, 1949 at Columbia, S.C.

CAROLINA COACHES CONFER —Head coaches Rex Enright of the University of South Carolina and Carl Snavely of the University of North Carolina meet after UNC’s 28-13 victory on October 8, 1949 at Columbia, S.C.

Following the game in an interview with Al Thomy of the Greensboro Daily News, Enright said, “Just when we stopped their running, they would pass. And if we dared concentrate on their aerial game, they would come back on the ground. . . Justice and Weiner form a great offensive combination. They are just like the Yankees.” (By the way, the New York Yankees won that World Series game over the Brooklyn Dodgers also played on October 8th by a score of 6 to 4).

Enright was not questioned about an incident that occurred in the first quarter during a UNC drive, when a close fourth down play was ruled a Tar Heel first down. Following the ruling, during a UNC time out, Enright called Justice over to the sideline and asked the Tar Heel captain to ask for a measurement, which he did and the measurement proved that referee J.D. Rogers, Jr. had made the correct call.

About two months after the game, Charlie Justice was selected for the Collier’s All America team, and the magazine published a Hugh Morton photograph of Justice from the USC game for its December 10, 1949 issue.  In 1997, that same Morton image would be placed on display in the Charlie Justice Hall of Honor on the first floor of the Kenan Football Center on the UNC campus.

UNC-Chapel Hill versus University of South Carolina football game in Carolina Stadium, Columbia, SC. Player wearing uniform #25 is UNC's Irv Holdash.

UNC-Chapel Hill versus University of South Carolina football game in Carolina Stadium, Columbia, SC.  Player wearing uniform #25 is UNC’s Irv Holdash.

A little over a year after that ’49 game, Enright’s and Snavely’s teams met again in Columbia’s Carolina Stadium.  On November 18, 1950, 25,000 fans, including South Carolina’s Governor Strom Thurmond and photographer Hugh Morton, saw the Tar Heels fall behind by a 7 to 0 score early in the first quarter, but saw them come back with two scores in the second on a combination of A-formation and single wing plays.  As it turned out, the halftime score of 14 to 7 was also the final score.

South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond and wife Jean at the November 18, 1950 UNC vs. USC football game.

South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond and wife Jean at the November 18, 1950 UNC vs. USC football game at Columbia, S.C.

UNC put up another convincing win against USC when the teams met in Kenan Stadium on October 13, 1951. A homecoming crowd of 34,000 cheered the Tar Heels to a 21 to 6 victory with Larry Parker, Billy Williams, and Bud Wallace leading the Tar Heel attack. On October 14th, readers of the Wilmington Morning Star were treated to two Hugh Morton action photographs from that twenty seventh battle of the Carolinas.

Between 1951 and 1963 the teams met twelve times with UNC winning nine and USC winning three. Then starting in 1967 North Carolina suffered five straight losses before winning three, in ’77, ’78, and ’79.

The Tar Heels managed to win only two times during the 1980s and 1990s: 1983 and 1991.  The most recent game played in Kenan Stadium was on October 13, 2007, when Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks survived a furious UNC fourth quarter to win 21 to 15.

Overall North Carolina has won in the series thirty-four times while South Carolina has won seventeen, and there have been four ties.  The series renewal in 2013 will pit the number 6th ranked Gamecocks against the 24th ranked Tar Heels, but the Tar Heels just might have one thing in their favor. The August 19th issue of Sports Illustrated has a regional cover featuring South Carolina.  Ever heard of the “Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx?”

Carl Suntheimer is stretched out in front of the bench

The Charlotte News published three Morton photographs the Monday after the 1941 UNC loss at South Carolina, including this uncredited sideline candid with the caption “BEATEN AND DISPIRITED the Tar Heels couldn’t raise a grin Saturday afternoon as their ball club went down before South Carolina’s powerful Gamecocks. Co-captain Carl Suntheimer is stretched out in front of the bench with the dipper; Corn, Webb, Hussey and Gordon are on the bench (left to right). Photograph cropped, as published, from a wider view.  The 1942 Yackety Yack also published this photograph, with a wider crop, in a two-page spread called “It’s All Part of the Game.”

Julius LeVonne Chambers (1936-2013)

Julius L. Chambers receiving The University Award

Julius L. Chambers receiving The University Award from Benjamin Ruffin, Chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, along with President of the University Molly Broad. Morton likely made the photograph during a banquet held on 8 November 2001. (Photographic negative —one of two—was labeled “Julius Chambers University Award”; persons in photograph identified and image cropped by author, and the date of the banquet comes from a program in the University Archives.)

Last Friday saw the passing of noted civil rights attorney Julius Chambers.  Chambers received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1962, graduating first in his class.  In 1964, he opened the state’s first integrated law firm in Charlotte. In 1965 he filed a desegregation lawsuit that became known as Swann vs. the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.  The case rose to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor, in 1971.  The court’s decision led to the use of school busing as a vehicle to integrate schools nationwide.  Chambers would come to argue seven additional cases before the United States Supreme court, winning each time.

In 2001 the University of North Carolina Board of Governors honored Chambers with “The University Award” which Hugh Morton photographed.  The award recognizes the “illustrious service to higher education” and is the highest distinction of this nature that the university bestows.

An interesting side note: Hugh and Julia Morton received The University Award in 2003.

Mount Airy to Mayberry . . . Matlock to Manteo

It’s been a year since North Carolina said goodbye to one of its favorite sons.  It was Tuesday, July 3, 2012 that Andy Griffith died at his home in Manteo, a place where his acting career got an excellent start as Sir Walter Raleigh in Paul Green’s “The Lost Colony.” Morton collection volunteer and blog contributor Jack Hilliard takes a brief look at an American icon from Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Andy Griffith signing autographs in a crowd at the Wilmington, NC Azalea Festival in 1958.

It was Friday, February 13, 2004 when I attended the memorial service for Sarah Justice in Shelby, North Carolina.  At a reception following the service at The Church of the Redeemer, I had an opportunity to chat with my friend Hugh Morton who had just completed a book tour across the state.

“How is the book doing?” I asked.

“Pretty good,” he said.  “It’s selling far better that I ever thought it would.  You know I have really enjoyed meeting so many good Tar Heels during these book signings. I was in Manteo last week at a little book store.  I was just sitting there signing books when the next person in line stepped up to the table.  It was my dear friend Andy Griffith.”

Andy Griffith and Hugh Morton go back a long way.  All the way back to 1953 when Morton needed an entertainer for a banquet at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. 
“Someone suggested a UNC graduate student who was active in the Carolina Playmakers,” said Morton in a 1982 interview.  “I was able to hire the student for 25 dollars and he performed a monologue called “What It Was, Was Football.”  He was known then as Andrew Griffith.  The crowd that night loved the routine that Griffith had written the year before and a couple of weeks later, Chapel Hill record producer Orville Campbell recorded it.  On November 14, 1953 Campbell released 500 copies of the tale and Griffith was on his way.

In January of 1954, Griffith’s new manager Richard O. Linke secured a live guest spot on the CBS-TV show Toast of the Town.  (That show would become The Ed Sullivan Show on September 25, 1955.)  It would be Andy’s introduction to live television.  His nervousness and his inexperience were clearly visible and the performance didn’t go over well.  Later Andy would say he had no recollection of his performance.

Griffith learned his live TV lessons well and on March 15, 1955 he starred in ABC-TV’s The United States Steel Hour production of No Time for Sergeants. This time the show was a hit and on October 20, 1955 the show opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theater. It would run for 796 performances and Griffith would be nominated for a Tony in 1956.  Playing the part of Corporal Manual Dexterity was Don Knotts who was making his Broadway debut as well.  Griffith and Knotts would become good friends . . . more on that later.  The show closed on September 14, 1957.

Next up for Griffith was the role of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes in director Elia Kazan’s film A Face in the Crowd.  It debut in June 1957 and was another hit for Griffith.  Then in 1958 Griffith and company headed up the film version of No Time for Sergeants (watch the original trailer).  When the film opened at Greensboro’s Carolina Theater on July 5, 1958, Andy became an honorary citizen of the Gate City.

Andy Griffith was on a roll.

Andy Griffith, Dolores Gray, and Luther Hodges

Andy Griffith, actress Dolores Gray, with whom Griffith appeared in a 1959 Broadway production of “Destry Rides Again,” and North Carolina Governor Luther H. Hodges.

On April 23, 1959, he returned to Broadway for his first musical comedy Destry Rides Again.  That show would run for 472 performances at the Imperial Theater.  There was another Tony nomination for Andy.

Then, in the fall of 1959, Richard Linke called . . . this time about a possible TV show.
That show turned out to be The Andy Griffith Show, and was born during a series of meetings between Andy, Richard Linke, and Sheldon Leonard who was the producer of the highly successful The Danny Thomas Show, which, as it turned out, aired the Griffith pilot. (Watch the pilot—parts one, two, and three).  Between the pilot episode and the first Griffith show on October 3, 1960, Andy brought on board his old buddy Don Knotts to play Deputy Barney Fife.  As the TV sports guys would say “the rest is history.”  Sheriff Andy Taylor turned out to be the defining character for Andy Griffith and the show ran for eight seasons on CBS and continues to this day in reruns.

Following the final episode on April 1, 1968, there was a long dry spell for Andy Griffith.  Many mediocre movies and TV shows followed, but none came close to matching the success Andy had found in Mayberry, North Carolina.  Two divorces and a major health issue threatened to end his career, but Andy persevered.

It was in a 1984 NBC mini-series titled Fatal Vision that Andy caught the eye of NBC Entertainment President Brandon Tarnikoff and another gigantic TV series was born.  Andy became Benjamin Leighton “Ben” Matlock when the network broadcasted the television movie Diary of a Perfect Murder as the pilot for the TV series Matlock on March 3, 1986.   The first regular episode aired on September 23, 1986, and ran for nine seasons ending on May 7, 1995.  In 1989 Griffith brought the production to Manteo, the place where he would retire.

Andy Griffith and Governor Mike Easley at the dedication of the Andy Griffith Parkway, 2002.

Andy Griffith and Governor Mike Easley at the dedication of the Andy Griffith Parkway, 2002.

Andy Griffith returned to his hometown for the first time in 40 years.  Mount Airy held a dedication ceremony on October 16, 2002 in the parking lot behind City Hall.  Eleven miles of US Highway 52 became known as the Andy Griffith Parkway.  Andy, along with wife Cindi, was joined that day by his friends Dr. William Friday, Hugh Morton, and North Carolina Governor Mike Easley . . . along with more than 3,000 adoring fans.

Andy Griffith once said, “When I discovered I could entertain, I worked hard at it.  It’s the only thing I do well.  I can’t be a company director.  I can’t be an accountant.  I can’t make furniture, but I can entertain.”

I don’t know this for sure, but I believe that meeting with Hugh and Andy at the book store in Manteo in February of 2004 was their last meeting . . . that is until July 3, 2012 when I choose to believe Andy joined Hugh in a very special place.

 

The State of OUR STATE at 80

There’s going to be a special birthday party at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh on June 8, 2013: Our State magazine will be 80 years old.  The celebration will begin at 11 AM and will include musical entertainment, exhibits, games and demonstrations.  A View to Hugh would like to congratulate Our State on this milestone.  Our volunteer contributor Jack Hilliard takes a personal look—through the filter of Hugh Morton’s lens—at some of the magazine’s fascinating history, which began as The State.
TheState_1948-12-04_coverMy first recollection of The State magazine was around Christmas time 1948 when I was visiting my grandmother.  She knew that Charlie Justice was my hero, so she had saved for me her copy of the December 4th issue, which featured a Hugh Morton cover picture of Justice following the ‘48 UNC vs. Duke game. I have been a fan of the magazine ever since that day.

At that time, the magazine was already 15 years old, but it was new to me and I didn’t know that there had been a previous cover with a photograph of Justice by Morton about a year before.  (I was able to get that earlier issue about 5 years later when I was working on a fund-raising scrap paper drive.)

Firts issue of THE STATE magazine

Cover of the first issue of THE STATE, June 3 1933. The North Carolina Collection has Carl Goerch’s personal copies of the publication for its first seventeen years.

WPTF (Raleigh) radio broadcaster Carl Goerch had started the magazine back in the late spring of 1933.  In the midst of the Great Depression he proposed a magazine that would be “a weekly survey of North Carolina, dedicated to cause people to be more appreciative of their state by becoming better acquainted with it.”  In order to publish his dream, Goerch needed advertisers, but times were tough so he told his prospective clients, “let me run an ad for you in the first four issues . . . if at the end of the month, you find that the publication isn’t worth anything, you can discontinue.  On the other hand, if you think it really is worthwhile, I hope you’ll continue using space.”  His first prospect was S. Clay Williams, president of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  Others who were willing to invest were Julian Price of Jefferson Standard Life, Robert M. Hanes of Wachovia Bank, Louis Sutton of Carolina Power & Light, Norman Cocke of Duke Power, W. D. (Billy) Carmichael of Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co., and Durham banker John Sprunt Hill.

The first issue hit the streets on June 3, 1933 for ten cents a copy, or three dollars for a year’s subscription.  Pictured on that first cover was North Carolina Governor J. C. B. Ehringhaus and inside were the first of Goerch’s long-running departments such as “Funny Experiences” and “Just One Thing after Another.”

The magazine “met a very favorable impression and kept right on growing,” according to Goerch, selling 2,500 copies.  Goerch and his magazine started out in an office in the Lawyers Building in Raleigh with a staff of two, including himself.  Inez Gehring took care of the office and Goerch did just about everything else, with help from some trusted freelance writers who sent in articles for which they were paid $2.50 per article.  Among those freelancers were W. O. Saunders, Tom Bost, Paul Green, Billy Arthur, H. G. Jones, Bill Sharpe, and others.

Moss-draped oaks on Walter Parsley's place on Masonboro Sound, near Wilmington

Captioned “Moss-draped oaks on Walter Parsley’s place on Masonboro Sound, near Wilmington,” this is Hugh Morton’s first credited photograph in THE STATE. Notice, however, how the credit line reads: “Photo by Pvt. Hugh Morton, Camp Davis.”

In addition to the impressive freelance writers were equally talented photographers like Aycock Brown, John Hemmer, and Hugh Morton.  Morton would go on to become a most prolific contributor with dozens of photographs and more than sixty photo covers between March 8, 1941 (uncredited) and December 3, 1949.  Three of the four issues published in January 1950 featured Morton photographs on their covers.  In the January 28th issue, The State named Charlie Justice “North Carolina’s Man of the Year for 1949,” with a Morton portrait of the Justice family on the cover.

When the magazine celebrated its tenth anniversary with the issue of June 5, 1943, the front cover consisted of a letter to Goerch from Governor J. Melville Broughton.
“This unique magazine under your able leadership has lived up to its name in the highest degree.”  Inside, in an editorial, Goerch said, “the last ten years have been the happiest of my entire life.”  Carl Goerch published the magazine for eighteen years before turning it over to Bill Sharpe on September 1, 1951.  A party was held in Sharpe’s honor when he took over the magazine and Hugh Morton was there and took pictures.

Party in honor of publicist Bill Sharpe

Party in honor of publicist Bill Sharpe (being held up on men’s shoulders) on the occasion of his retirement from the public relations staff of Carolina Power & Light Company to become editor of THE STATE magazine. Also shown are (L to R): Carl Goerch, R. Bruce Etheridge, Joe Lowes, Lynn Nisbet, John G. Hemmer, Norwood “Red” Pope, Carl Sink, Josh Horne, John Harden, and Bob Thompson. (Photograph cropped by editor.)

Sharpe’s stated philosophy for the magazine was:

North Carolina is settled by a whimsical race, forever busy at something interesting.  Somehow they continue to live in the most fascinating places, do the most ingenious things, have the most incredible experiences, catch the most outlandish fish and invent the most fantastic instruments.

Goerch continued to write columns and handle advertising.  Sharpe added his well-written columns—“Travel Topics,” “From Manteo to Murphy,” and “Remember.”  The magazine published its first full-color cover with the September 13, 1952 issue, featuring a photograph by Sebastian Sommer of a family picnicking along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the fall with Grandfather Mountain in distance.  In December the new “Down Home in North Carolina” slogan replaced the old “A Weekly Survey.”

In 1954 the magazine switched from a weekly to a bi-monthly.  W. B. Wright joined the team as advertising manager.  A Raleigh native, a navy veteran, and a Duke graduate, Wright fit right in.  Under Sharpe’s leadership, the magazine became somewhat of a lightning rod for conservative thought.  Sharpe was noted for his editorials against “centralization of power in the federal government.”  Wright became co-publisher with Sharpe in 1965.

TheState_1962-01-06_cover

In the January 6, 1962 issue, the magazine announced Hugh Morton as its “North Carolinian of 1961.”  Morton had continued to make a huge photographic contribution to the magazine, but was likely selected because of his efforts to bring the battleship USS North Carolina home to Wilmington.  In the October 1, 1968 issue, Hugh Morton listed his favorite ten photographs.  His 1968 top-ten list turned out to be a good cross-section of what would become his almost-seventy-year portfolio.

On January 6, 1970, Bill Sharpe died suddenly and the logical choice to take over was W. B. (Bill) Wright, who had earlier worked for Sharpe during his efforts to establish a weekly newspaper in Winston-Salem in 1940.  Wright followed in the footsteps of Goerch and Sharpe with little change to the magazine.

The sad news on Monday, September 16, 1974 was that Carl Goerch had died at his home in Raleigh.  He was praised for “accurately informing North Carolinians of their history and progress” during his 55 years of work for newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, and as a public speaker.  Carl Goerch was 83 years old.

Cover of The State, August 1978

By the time the August, 1978 issued arrived on the scene, the magazine was published monthly and that August issue featured a Morton cover image of Grandfather Mountain’s most famous citizen, Mildred the Bear, feeding a cub. The issue turned out to be one of the most popular and Bill Wright staged a contest for readers to title the Morton photograph.

The State cover, November 1980

With the November, 1980 issue, there was yet another Hugh Morton cover photo of UNC’s Charlie Justice.  Morton was having a photo exhibit in the Morehead Planetarium and the magazine was promoting the event. The Justice image selected for the cover was a familiar one and was described as Justice running onto the field at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, his last varsity game at UNC.  The enlarged image on the cover gave one the ability to see the Justice uniform and it was clearly a 1948 style—not the one worn at the Cotton Bowl on January 2, 1950.

In a 1984 interview, I asked Justice about the uniform discrepancy, but he couldn’t explain it.  When Justice passed away in October of 2003, the same image was used in several North Carolina newspapers with the same caption. Then in 2008, Elizabeth Hull sent me a series of Justice images for additional identification and this image was part of the group; however she had scanned the entire negative image and the background was clearly Kenan Stadium.  It seems that somewhere along the way, two similar negatives had gotten switched and for more than thirty years this image was incorrectly identified.  It is now correct in the Morton online collection.

Cover of The State, January 1982

The January, 1982 issue cover featured a Morton bird’s-eye-view photograph of the Cape Hatteras Light.  At the time, Morton was heading up a committee to save the historic structure from being swept into the sea.

In its fiftieth anniversary edition, actually published in January, 1984, Bill Wright said:
“The magazine hasn’t changed a great deal over the years, and therein might lie an explanation to its success.”  The front cover of that fiftieth issue contained a montage of magazine covers from years past, including the Morton image of Mildred from 1978.

Bill Wright continued to publish The State until 1987 when he sold it to Shaw Publishing Company of Charlotte. New publisher Sam Rogers brought a new design with fresh typefaces and eye-catching color.  These changes brought letters, pro and con, but Rogers insisted “the flavor is still present.”

The November 1992 issue featured a Hugh Morton profile, complete with a picture of Morton on the cover.

Cover of The State, November 1992Rogers continued publishing the magazine for the next nine years.  Then, in the spring of 1996—enter Bernard (Bernie) Mann.   A native New Yorker, like Carl Goerch, Bernie Mann, president of Mann Media, Inc, bought the operation, moved the editorial offices from Charlotte to Greensboro, and expanded the staff from four to fourteen. Soon after Mann took over the publishing duties, he was presented some amazing information.  A well-known research firm presented him a report that said at most magazines, 35 to 37 percent of the readers renewed their subscriptions when they came due.  A rate of 50 percent was considered phenomenal.  The State’s rate was 87 percent. One of the researchers told Mann, “you didn’t buy a magazine, you bought a public trust.”

Mann made several changes to the magazine, and when the August 1996 issue arrived, readers first noticed a name change.  Gone was The State, and replacing it was Our State.  “I thought it was more inclusive,” Mann said of the change.  “I thought it gave a more personal feel.”

I remember in early May 1998 Lee Kinard, “Good Morning Show” executive producer and my boss at WFMY-TV, called me in one morning and said, “We need to do a feature on Our State magazine.”  I called marketing director Amy Jo (Wood) Pasquini, and she graciously set up a time when we could come over for an interview.  On the morning of May 26, 1998 Kinard, photographer George Vaughn, and I went over to the magazine office and met with Pasquini, Mann, and editor Mary Ellis.  I remember how impressed we were with these folks who went out their way to provide us with a fantastic segment for our show.

The June 2003 issue celebrated the magazine’s 70th birthday with a 188-page collector’s edition.  Now in June, 2013, issue number 2047 is out with a keepsake edition celebrating another milestone: an 80th birthday.  I was not surprised that the photo essay featuring many of the magazine’s covers, which is on pages 78 through 103, includes numerous Hugh Morton cover photographs.